Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Comcast to offer cheaper Internet to CPS students

This is only available to those 330,000 students who qualify for free lunches at the Chicago Public Schools:
The partnership between the city schools and Comcast is the first of its kind in the nation. "Having access to high-speed Internet service allows children to do schoolwork, adults to find jobs and grow the city's economy, and families to learn and explore together," Emanuel said in a press release.

Home internet that would normally cost $48.95 per month will be available to qualifying families for $9.95 per month under the Internet Essentials program, Emanuel said. And families will also be able to purchase computers for $150, he said.

The program will launch this fall.
This Tribune article a retweet from the 6th Ward Chicago (our official service office) twitter account. :P

Monday, May 30, 2011

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Happy Memorial Day

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Happy Memorial Day

Worlee not only honors the military on this day, but also Thomas Wortham, Michael Bailey, and Cory Ankum. The first two police officers and the last one a fire fighter.

Happy Memorial Day...

2011, is the 150th anniversary of the US Civil War so in honor of that conflict a painting of the 54 Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment. This army unit was portrayed in the film Glory starring Matthew Broderick, Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, and Cary Elwes.

Well the weekend is already off to a wet start. Hopefully this day will allow you to take part in any outdoor plans on Memorial Day!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Pictures From Officer Thomas Wortham Memorial

Concerned Citizens of Chatham: Pictures From Officer Thomas Wortham Memorial

Worlee posted some pictures at his blog from last Thursday's memorial for the late police officer Thomas Wortham. This event took place at Cole Park @ 361 E. 85th St. It was a year ago when Officer Wortham was killed outside of his family home near Cole Park. Wortham was the victim of an attempted robbery.

Police investigate apparent S. Side KFC robbery

This crime apparently happened Thursday morning. Found this story through EveryBlock:
It happened this morning at a KFC on the 100-block of East 95th Street.

Police say the robbers emptied the restaurant's safe.

One person was being treated at the scene for what the Fire Department says was a battery.

There have been no other reports of serious injuries.

A restaurant employee says a gunshot was fired but nobody was hit.
Good to know no one was seriously hurt!

What you see above is a Google Streetview of the KFC @ 95th & Michigan.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

RELEASE: Ald. Sawyer supports police realignment, calls for next step

Just sent from the Alderman's office on Wednesday. What else do you think needs to be done to prevent crime in our community?

Sawyer Police Realignment Press Release

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chicago News Report: Missing child alert: 8-year-old girl vanishes from Tuley Park

I should've actually attempted to post this yesterday. I hope there's an update to this as to whether or not authorites or the family know this little girl's location:
Police are searching for an 8-year-old girl who disappeared from a Far South Side park.

The little girl, who was reported missing around 9 p.m., was last seen at Tuley Park, 501 East 90th Place, and lives on the 9100 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue.

According to authorities, the missing girl is 3 1/2 feet tall and her hair was styled in three braids.

She was last seen wearing a green shirt with a flower on the front, red pants, and black and red gym shoes.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

UPDATED: 6th Ward Service Office Changes

Added some new information to this post first written on May 16, 2011. Added are the office hours to Alderman Sawyer's service office. Some of this information was announced at the recent GCA meeting with Ald. Sawyer and Chief of Staff Sleet - Levois

Alderman Rod Sawyer
From Worlee's blog, Concerned Citizens of Chatham:

Effective 5/17/2011 the 6th ward service office will relocate to

463 1/2 E. 83rd Street (83rd and Eberhart),
Chicago, IL 60619

Office Phone


6th Ward Chicago


Office Hours
Mon-Thursday 9am-5pm
Friday-Saturday 10am -2pm
Closed Sundays.
Evening hours will be scheduled in the future.

The new staff of the 6th ward is as follows:

Chief of Staff Brian Sleet
Roderick Sawyer - Alderman
Brian Sleet - Chief of Staff
Jasmine McCalpin - Aide
Candace Briggs - Aide
Craig Davis - Aide (part-time)
Paul Bryson - Supervisor, Streets and Sanitation

Sources: 500 officers to be reassigned to high-crime districts

Chicago Tribune:
Starting Sunday, the South Side districts getting the extra manpower are the Grand Crossing, South Chicago, Calumet, Gresham, Englewood and Chicago Lawn districts, one of the sources said. The two districts on the West Side getting more officers are the Harrison and Austin districts, the source said.

The source described the 90-day reassignments — the longest duration of time the department can detail officers to other units without their consent — as an evaluation period for acting Superintendent Garry McCarthy to decide whether the officers' presence on district patrol is more effective in areas with a high crime rate than if they were working in the Mobile Strike Force and Targeted Response Unit.

Those two units, which will be all but depleted by the reassignments, are typically sent to parts of the city experiencing spikes in violent crimes, including gang shootings, homicides and armed robberies, before moving to other areas where such crimes are on the rise. But when officers from those units are sent to the districts, they will focus on areas within district boundaries.

If the department's leadership is satisfied with the results of the temporary reassignments, the Mobile Strike Force and Targeted Response Unit could be disbanded, sources said.

These changes come after Mayor Rahm Emanuel has repeatedly said he wants to get 1,000 more police officers on the streets by shifting experienced personnel from desk jobs and hiring new officers with funds now earmarked for economic development in special taxing districts.

On Tuesday, Emanuel is scheduled to make a public safety announcement at a South Side police station.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Long gone local landmark...

A picture provided by Unknown Chicago with these details:
(9140 S. State St.) Built in the 1830s, this stage-coach stop stood 11 miles south of Fort Dearborn on the old State Highway. The Dan Ryan goes through the site today.

Ward Room: Rahm 'Ready' to Testify in Blago Retrial

I haven't been paying much attention to the retrial, but I would be very curious about whatever testimony Mayor Emanuel may offer in our former Governor's corruption trial. Who knows if the Mayor would be considered a hostile witness in which case well he should've been the federal government's witness. As we see here, the Mayor is ready to testify.
"I'm ready if asked to testify," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Monday during an unrelated news conference.

Emanuel has been subpoenaed along with congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., White House advisor Valerie Jarrett, Sen. Dick Durbin and Majority Leader Harry Reid. But that doesn't mean any of them will be called.

The government alleges that Blagojevich delayed a promised grant to a northwest side school in an attempt to force then-congressman Emanuel to facilitate a fundraiser through his wealthy brother. On cross-examination, the defense showed that the school did get its money without the fundraiser ever being held.

As of last week, prosecutors had not received a bona fide list of who else to expect in the witness box besides Blagojevich. And even plans to put Blagojevich on the stand could change.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chicago News Report: Gang fight on CTA bus, passenger possibly stabbed

Chicago News Report: Gang fight on CTA bus, passenger possibly stabbed:

This fight took place on a #87 bus near the 8700 blog of South Indiana. I wonder if I can find this report anywhere else or even if there were any updates.

Via Blotter!

Friday, May 20, 2011

REMINDER: Greater Chatham Alliance hosting Ald. Sawyer

Just a reminder that this Saturday, Greater Chatham Alliance.is hosting a meeting with new 6th ward alderman Rod Sawyer, as well as Chief of Staff Brian Sleet  and Paul Bryson - Supervisor, Streets and Sanitation

Saturday, May 21, 2011
11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
St. James Lutheran Church
8000 S. Michigan, Chicago IL 60619

See our previous entry for more info

An artwork display at Harlan...

Was leaving the Harlan LSC meeting Thursday night. For a limited time you will see displays of artwork in the hallway starting from the main entrance. 

This display on the ceiling was noted at the LSC meeting. The white baby booties represented those young people who have been injured in violence in Chicago. The red baby booties represents those young people who have died as a result of violence in Chicago.

In case you want to see more of the creativity of Harlan High School students, I will refer you to this page at Harlan's official website with galleries for at least four years - starting in 2007 - of Harlan art fairs. Also check out the Harlan Arts House Small Learning Communities page as well.

Also I want to refer you to one of my personal favorite. I favor allowing citizens to own guns, but this should drive home the message of how dangerous guns are. You can find that at the Harlan website as well

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Carol Marin interviewed Jean-Claude Brizard

[VIDEO] The new Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Officer was interviewed on Wednesday's edition of Chicago Tonight. Duration 19 minutes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Council’s Black Caucus Elects New Chair - Chicago News Cooperative

Council’s Black Caucus Elects New Chair - Chicago News Cooperative

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) of the neighboring edges out Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) to take the chairmanship of the city's Black Caucus:

The City Council’s black caucus has elected Ald. Howard Brookins (21st Ward) as its new leader. The caucus met after Wednesday’s council meeting and unanimously selected Brookins, said Ald. Walter Burnett (27th), the former chairman of the group who stepped down in March.

Brookins was chosen over Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th), who was reportedly considered the front-runner. Thomas did not immediately return calls for comment.

Brookins said his goals as caucus chairman include increasing the number of black-owned businesses that receive city contracts, preventing a loss of African-American representation on the council as a result of the remapping of the city’s wards, and pushing for a plan to reallocate police resources from low-crime areas to high-crime areas.

Harlan High School LSC tomorrow night...

Well at least there is no confusion for this meeting there was a date listed on Harlan's marquee here. It also helps that well I already knew the meeting was scheduled from the time of the last meeting.

Next meeting is May 19th @ 6:30 PM. Harlan is located at 9652 S. Michigan Ave.

It should be noted that, I saw the City Council in action online today. Newly inaugurated Alderman Roderick Sawyer just so happen to have made mention of Harlan today refering to the school by its full name. Basically what he was speaking on is recognition of Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) students.

Not sure what the resolution was about as I just joined the city council already in progress. It's safe to say that they recognized a certain JROTC program within the Chicago Public School.

BTW, it was noted that some young people from this ward have secured nominations to the United States Military Academy at West Point. Congrats to those young people! And I can only hope they went to Harlan as well. :)

Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council: Revitalize & Rebuild Chatham !!!

Chatham/Avalon Park Community Council: Revitalize & Rebuild Chatham !!!:
If You Care About Your Community Please Join Us!
Host: Chatham Avalon Park Community Council
When: Monday May 23, 2011 at 5:30 pm

Where: Northern Trust Company, 7801 S. State St., Chi. IL 60619
Hmmm, this should be interesting.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Job Leads

Information courtesy of ECHO Development"Enriching Communities by Harnessing Options

JOB LEADS 5.17.11

Alderman Sawyer on "vanity" signs...

We saw some video of city workers replacing signs with former Mayor Daley's name with those that has Mayor Emanuel's name. Since we already know one of the Mayors tasks is to put this city back under fiscal order, he wanted no more signed changed with his name on it. And Roderick Sawyer already has his first quote from the Sun-Times since he took the oath yesterday:
Ald. Roderick Sawyer (6th), one of 13 new aldermen slated to attend their first City Council meeting on Wednesday, said it’s not enough for Emanuel to call a halt to the sign replacement.

The son of the late Mayor Eugene Sawyer said it’s time to eliminate “vanity” signs.

“The signs should say, `City of Chicago, Welcome.’ It doesn’t have to have the mayor’s name on them. It’s a vanity thing,” Sawyer said.

“If you’re gonna change the signs, change them once and for all, so we never have to do it again. Goodness knows, we’re in a financial crisis. We don’t need to change these signs as mayors come and go — assuming we’re gonna have mayors come and go. There [should be] no vanity involved.”
Time to eliminate the vanity signs as has been done at the County Forest Preserves?

The next city council meeting is May 16th...

This pic above I found at Progress Illinois!

Anyone we can see the new City Council and the new Mayor in action at 10 AM on May 16th. For those of you who have never witnessed a meeting of Chicago's City Council in person you can head up to the 2nd floor at City Hall located @ 121 North LaSalle Street. 

This page from the new City Clerk - Susana Mendoza - have rules for admission to the meetings of the Chicago City Council. You can also go to the City Clerk's website to view a session of the Chicago City Council in case you're not able to physically visit the City Council's chambers. It will be available on the day of the sessions. 

Provided by the City Clerk's office, a seating chart for the City Council. An image is posted below. The numbers represents all the wards of the individual alderman. And remember the Mayor is now Rahm Emanuel. :P

Rahm Emanuel and the Power of Municipal Entrepreneurship

The Red Line extension from 95th Street into Roseland and Altgeld Gardens and how it could fit in as far as potential improvements in transportation in the Chicago area:
The first project — the Red Line renovation and extension — is a necessity: The northern sections of the corridor (shared with the Purple Line) are a century old and the Chicago Transit Authority has already presented a number of alternatives that would relieve the problem. Also on tap is the extension of the corridor south to 130th Street, designed to improve the commuting times for people who live in the city’s Far South Side, whose residents are transit-dependent but poorly served. The combined cost: Somewhere between $3 and $6 billion.
The whole article which discusses not only Mayor Emanuel's transit policy but also transit policy as a whole around the Chicago area is worth a long read.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Check out this Chatham 2-flat...

Check out this 1919 built 2-flat located @ 7815 South Michigan Avenue via Trulia listed for sale by Sergio & Banks @ $29,900 currently:
great investment opportunity!! brick two flat w/6 bedrooms, 2.5 ba*full-finish
ed basement*enclosed porch*3 car detached garage* taxes prorated at 100%* no survey/disclosures*rm sizes are approximate* cash offers only!*
If you want to see more of this place check out the photo gallery. The interior photos suggest that this building is a fixer-upper. There needs to be some money spent to make this 2-flat habitable.

If it was up to me I'd get rid of those two trees out front or at least have them moved somewhere that they'll thrive.

You can find other real estate listings on our "Blotter" page.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

From the city of St. Louis, Missouri

[VIDEO] Early in the time this blog has operated I liked to keep tabs on this website called PubDef.org. It was a website that looked at what was going on in St. Louis, MO. The website's proprietor is Antonio French who these days is an Alderman in St. Louis having been first elected in 2008.

The video above takes a look at all the developments and issues in his ward, St. Louis' 21st Ward. Some of what you see here especially as far as taking on crime and helping out our neighbors is something worth emulating in the future here in the 6th.

Some of what you heard in that video, isn't much different than what has been said by the candidates for 6th Ward Alderman in the recently concluded municipal elections. For example what was said in a [VIDEO] by former candidate Richard Wooten.

CHA: Most high-rise residents relocated in city

CHA: Most high-rise residents relocated in city

This article is actually from last month and includes a comment by Alderman-elect Roderick Sawyer. This quote concerns Chatham:
The CHA, however, acknowledged that it has lost track of 2,202 families that once lived in CHA housing, and another 1,307 households found housing without CHA assistance.

Former residents now live in 71 of Chicago's 77 neighborhoods, according to the report. However, the majority of them moved to neighborhoods such as Englewood, Woodlawn, Auburn Gresham, Roseland and Greater Grand Crossing, communities that already were burdened with high crime and poverty. Others moved into working-class African-American communities such as Chatham and South Shore, saturating formerly stable neighborhoods of single-family homes with renters.

Chatham went from one voucher household in 1999 to 117 by the end of last year.

Roderick Sawyer, the alderman-elect whose 6th Ward includes Chatham, said the neighborhood has "more of a transient nature" over the last decade, though he could not attribute all of it to CHA residents moving in.

"Outside investors are going for the guaranteed rent, voucher rent, instead of selling them to homeowners," Sawyer said. "We've had long-term residents. … They're part of the community. When you've got more transients, you don't get a chance to know your neighbor."

Lawmakers get a peek at new districts

State Senator Donne Trotter (D-17th District) got a peek at his new map. His district may be in Will County and he knows that he may have to answer to more suburban mayors than he used to:
It's a worrisome topic. Take state Sen. Donne Trotter (D-Chicago). Trotter represents parts of Chicago's Southeast Side and a few suburbs. Due to population losses, his district going forward is likely to stretch into Will County. Knowing that, Trotter has paid closer attention to complaints from mayors statewide.

The state is threatening to reduce the amount of money it gives local governments. Currently, Trotter only has to be responsive to a few mayors. He knows next year, he may be answering to many more. And they will be watching closely how he votes on the funding issue.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Alderman Sawyer to be at Greater Chatham Alliance meeting Saturday May 21

Location: Chatham, Chicago, IL, USA
Alderman Sawyer will be at the Greater Chatham Alliance Meeting on Saturday, May 21.

GCA flyer below provided by Levois

Save the Date- Alderman Meeting

Roderick Sawyer on the City Council shakeup

[VIDEO] This aired last night on Chicago Tonight. Alderman-elect Roderick Sawyer appeared with veteran Alderman Scott Waguespack (32nd Ward), George Cardenas (12th), and Joe Moore (49th). Talking about the new line-up of committees for the Chicago City Council.

Time Out Chicago: The ward debate in Englewood

This article about Aisaha Butler's R.A.G.E organization out of Englewood talks about what that organization is doing as far as ward redistricting. Alderman-elect Sawyer was the only person able to come on record to talk about the problems of Englewood:
To Asiaha Butler and the other members of RAGE, Englewood’s political pot is bubbling. The question is: Do too many aldermen spoil the broth? A combined 3.1 square miles, Englewood and West Englewood are split among six wards: the 3rd, 6th, 15th, 16th, 17th and 20th. But a bigger problem, according to Butler: There is not one aldermanic office in the neighborhood. Residents say this is a symbol that none of the aldermen wants to take the lead in tackling the neighborhood’s problems. RAGE members are calling for redistricting that would reshape Greater Englewood into just two wards.

Englewood has been in political flux this spring: Of the 14 aldermanic seats contested in the April 5 runoff election, five were in wards that include parts of Englewood. RAGE held three candidate forums leading up to the February elections, with five of the incumbent aldermen and 28 out of 35 challengers attending. None of the incumbents agreed to support RAGE’s redistricting proposal, Butler says. Incoming 6th Ward Ald. Roderick Sawyer, the only nonincumbent to win a seat, says he might discuss redistricting with the other aldermen. At press time, he had not yet decided where to locate his office.

“I will serve the needs of the whole 6th Ward,” says Sawyer, the son of former Chicago Mayor Eugene Sawyer. “I realize Englewood might have more needs than some other areas.” He listed neighborhood cleanup and job training as primary focuses, with the idea
that jobs are the key to crime reduction.

Ald. JoAnn Thompson (16th) and Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) didn’t return repeated requests for interviews. Ald. Willie Cochran (20th) and Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd) did respond, but interviews couldn't be scheduled by press time. At the March 31 RAGE meeting, Ald. Toni Foulkes (15th), showing off her scuffed sneakers, says she prides herself on spending time in West Englewood. “Look at my feet,” she says. “I get down and dirty.”

“When you start something new, you need to clean up and see what you have,” Sawyer says. “There’s so much debris in Englewood, people need to start picking things up. The residents of Englewood need to partner with me. I’m just one person; I can’t do it alone.”

Residents train to help first responders during city disasters - Chicago Sun-Times

Residents train to help first responders during city disasters - Chicago Sun-Times

Does anyone out there plan to take advantage of this training:
Since 2004, more than 350 citizens — everyone from lawyers to teachers to civil engineers — have graduated from a 20-hour course that trains them to serve as the eyes and ears of Chicago’s first responders. The team hasn’t been called to duty in a disaster yet, but its members have helped in city evacuation drills.

The course is taught by the city’s Office of Emergency Management and Communications and the Chicago Police Department.

Last month at the Chicago Fire Academy, 20 students were told not to enter buildings with catastrophic damage or attempt to fight major blazes. “Still, there’s a lot you can do,” said one trainer, Thomas Henkey, of OEMC.

In a parking lot, the students learned how to use a fire extinguisher to put out small fires. They were told to work with a buddy who can watch for danger as the person in front uses the extinguisher. And the class learned about the “fire triangle” — the oxygen, fuel and heat that all must be present for a fire to flourish. “Kick out one of its legs and it dies,” said Matthew Doughtie, another OEMC trainer.

They were warned not to enter a situation that would require a first responder to rescue them.

“We free up a firefighter or a cop. So don’t become the victim yourself,” Henkey said.

A new era begins on Monday

This post may be bumped up towards the weekend, just as a forewarning.

Well I've been wanting to write this post since the conclusion of last month's run off races. I wanted to write about Alderman Lyle who is leaving the city council and the coming of Roderick Sawyer who defeated her to take the 6th Ward seat. Also note that for the first time in 22 years Chicago will be under a new Mayor with Rahm Emanuel.

When there is all this newness I'm sure there is a lot of excitement, but there is uncertainty. What will an Alderman Sawyer really mean to our communities here in the 6th Ward? What will a Mayor Emanuel mean to the rest of our fair city?

Well because there will be new fresh people who will not only lead our city but serve on the Chicago City Council I can sense there is a certain amount of excitement. People were excited about Roderick Sawyer representing our part of the city. Indeed many people reminisce about his father who also used to be Alderman of the 6th Ward.

Unlike what was indicated by a caller who called into a Sunday morning live program with Munir Muhammad on channel 19 of the Chicago Access Network, Sawyer doesn't become Alderman until May 16. And this program featured of course the outgoing Alderman Lyle.

While her service office will remain open through to the end of the week which she says will be the final pay period in her service as Alderman, I do have some remarks.

Mainly that she was an important part of this blog in it's earliest days. She always did offer what she know about certain issues that were brought up on the blog or even in recent months the Facebook page. At least there are indications that she isn't going away.

Sunday morning with Munir Muhammad she let's us know that she will continue to live in our ward. That there is still her not-for-profit organization, Lyle for Kids that she will continue with. I think that's important hopefully she will continue to provide programming for our youth to keep them out of trouble. Which means hopefully I can still catch one of those oratory contests at Harlan High School.

She will remain Democratic committeewoman and even indicated that she will help Kari K. Steele who is part of the 6th Ward Young Democrats (assuming she no longer heads that organization). Hopefully whether or not she will remain a Democratic committeewoman, my hope is that she will continue to be a leader in our community and use her 13 years on Chicago's City Council for the betterment of our community.

At this juncture however it's time to give Roderick Sawyer the opportunity to represent our ward. Let's see what he can do as Alderman, and hopefully he will be able to inspect the ward and be proactive as he claims he would. May he be a successful Chicago Alderman.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Emanuel unveils plan for City Council leadership

Clout Street:
Under the new structure outlined today by Emanuel, Burke would remain chairman of the Finance Committee. But Ald. Patrick O’Connor, 40th, Emanuel's chief council ally, would become chairman of the new Workforce Development and Audit Committee.

O’Connor’s committee would be stacked with the council’s most powerful aldermen, including Burke and Ald. Richard Mell, 33rd. And it would handle some of the significant legislation now funneled through Burke’s committee.

Exactly how influential the new committee will be will depend on the new committee rules and the amount each gets to spend each year, details that have yet to be revealed.

Emanuel announced the proposed committee structure after O’Connor worked through the weekend to line up a majority of signatures needed to win their approval at next week's council meeting. Burke was involved in the discussions.

While only the council has the authority to determine its leadership, Chicago’s mayors have often played a significant role in committee selection.
Some local Alderman on this part of town are slated to have committee chairs and other important positions. Ald. Michelle Harris (8th) will be president pro tempore. She'll preside over the city council whenever the Mayor is unable to. And Ald. Anthony Beale (9th) will be head of the city council's transportation committee.

BTW, the press have wanted to play up conflict between Mayor-elect Emanuel and Ald. Burke. Ward Room seeks to explain what the reorganization of committees would mean in terms of Ald. Burke:
Emanuel plans to take away some of that [Burke's] power, by creating a new Committee on Workforce Development and Audit, which will handle some of the big legislation that now passes through Burke’s Finance Committee. Mayor Emanuel did fulfill his promise to cut the number of committees, but not before creating a new one with a nonsensical name, mainly to prevent Burke from holding up any of his pet initiatives.

“The intent is not to dilute his power,” 40th Ward Ald. Patrick O’Connor, an Emanuel ally who has served as mediator between the two biggest egos in City Hall,told the Sun-Times. “It’s not about power and this committee vs. that committee. It’s about making the committee structure make sense and having the ability to respond to today’s challenges.”
UPDATE 11:01 PM Here's more provided by the Sun-Times. Also note that 17th Ward Ald. Latasha Thomas will herself head one of the 16 city council standing committees. Ald. Thomas also had won a run-off election last month:
The line-up also includes: Budget Committee Chairman Carrie Austin (34th); Education Committee Chairman Latasha Thomas (17th); License and Consumer Protection Committee Chairman Emma Mitts (37th); Special Events Committee Chairman Walter Burnett (27th); Traffic Committee Chairman Marge Laurino (39th); Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Anthony Beale (9th); Zoning Committee Chairman Danny Solis (25th); and Rules Committee Chairman Richard Mell (33rd).

Of the 16 Council committees, five will be chaired by African-Americans, a loss of one. Seven committees will be chaired by white aldermen, down from eleven currently. The number of Hispanic committee chairmen will go from two to three.

We may not see the Second Council Wars, but will Emanuel's time as Mayor of Chicago see conflict with one of Chicago's most powerful Alderman.

Black leaders have ‘fair share’ fears - Chicago Sun-Times

Black leaders have ‘fair share’ fears - Chicago Sun-Times

We already know from what happened with the report of a new Chicago Police Chief - the Newark Police is under Federal investigation and McCarthy used to be the police chief there - there are Black alderman who are less than happy that Blacks aren't the heads of any of the public safety departments in Chicago. So basically Laura Washington writes a column about that in the Sun-Times.

Basically it's about Mayor-elect Emanuel's picks to head his administrative teams:
While black and Latino elected officials are scrambling to kiss the ring, many are privately wary that their “people” won’t get their “fair share” of appointments, and even more important, the jobs and resources that emanate from City Hall.

Ethnic and racial politics are embedded in the DNA of big-city governing. Interest groups — and the mayors who appoint them — have long played racial “gotcha” politics with top appointments. Mayors — and their enemies — keep excruciatingly close tabs on the racial composition of their Cabinets and other top appointments to ancillary agencies and boards and commissions. Hence, black/white or black/Latino “teams” are transparently common, especially in areas like education, human services and police services.

Optics are key. Hence, the three press secretaries who fronted for Daley over his 21 years in office were all African American.

Contrary to Emanuel’s stand down on the aldermanic complaints, you can expect him to continue the tradition. It’s just good politics.

But is it good policy? It’s one thing to have black faces at the helm. It’s another to truly deliver for black people.
Do you think that there should be black faces at the top of our city government under Mayor Emanuel - who will take office next Monday - or do you think that there are some things we should have expectations of in this new mayor administration?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Liquors temporarily closed!

Because as of late this post has been recieving more comments, this post is worth a BUMP to the top originally posted by JP Paulus on April 29, 2011 - Levois

photo from http://sharala.blogspot.com/2008/11/took-me-long-enough.html 
Pastor John Hannah, of New Life Covenant - Oakwood church, reported on his Facebook account that Happy Liquors at 79th & Cottage Grove, is temporarily closed, as of this morning.

Previously, he called on parishioners to go to City Hall in favor of closing Happy Liquors..

Hopefully crime will decrease.

It will be up to us to help find a better business, and to patrol the area to ward off "riff raff".

Culture of Calm Is Threatened by Budget Cuts

Culture of Calm funds were used by Harlan High School to send some of their students to Detroit on a trip. I found out about this when I went to one of their LSC meetings. Via Chicago News Coop:
Derrion’s death in 2009 shocked the city and the nation. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and top Justice Department officials flew to Chicago to announce a $500,000 federal grant to help Fenger restore a peaceful learning environment.

Shortly afterward, Ron Huberman, then the C.P.S. chief, announced the Culture of Calm initiative to reduce violence in some of the city’s most troubled high schools. Chosen as one of six focus schools, [Roberto Clemente High School] received $1.1 million to put the program into effect.

Over all, the district received $260 million in stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Of that sum, Culture of Calm received $40 million for the 2010-11 school year, the second-largest amount distributed to district programs, behind early childhood programming.

C.P.S. officials announced in March that stimulus aid would end in the next budget cycle, placing Culture of Calm on the chopping block.

With federal financing gone, Ms. Pacione-Zayas and others face an uncertain future. Joshua Gray, the district official who oversees the violence-prevention initiative, said each of the schools participating in the program had been allocated different amounts and used the money differently. Many hired new staff members, while others had an existing staff member absorb the duties of carrying out the program.

“Until we know what all of our budgets are, we won’t really have an answer,” Mr. Gray said, “and that’s concerning for everybody.”

Saturday, May 7, 2011

New Aldermen Get Council Training From Burke

View more videos at: http://www.nbcchicago.com.

[VIDEO] This story that I found over at NBC Chicago's political blog Ward Room is about a city council orientation hosted by Ald. Ed Burke (14th). Part of this story is his relationship with Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel after his election in February and any attempt to remove Burke from his chairmanship of the city council's finance committee. You can vaguely see Roderick Sawyer in some portions of this clip, unfortunately, he doesn't speak on camera here.

CSU Premieres Original Television Series

An example of what goes on at our neighborhood university. Did you know that they shot a TV program pilot right on campus? This is what this article from The Citizen is about:
At 7pm in the Breakey Theatre—located in Douglass Hall—Dr. Christine List, chairperson of the department of English, Communications, Media Arts & Theatre took the stage and introduced the entire cast and crew as well as several graduates who returned to the campus just to see the pilot. Welcoming the crowd, List addressed the audience who was anxious to see what “The Chill” was all about.

“The Chill” is a story about a college student named Khrys Carter (DeShawn Smith) who leaves Mississippi and moves to Chicago with his half-brother Toni (Roderick Haygood). The pilot revolves around Khrys getting adjusted to his new life. He makes several new friends and also begins to take interest in a girl named Tiffany (Tessa Harp), whose boyfriend Marcus (Astin Simmons) becomes a constant source of trouble for Khrys.

The 30 minute episode was a crowd-pleaser from start to finish and ended with a dramatic cliffhanger that made the audience go wild with applause.

“The Chill” started off as a class project for the Producing for Film and Television course, taught by Dr. List. The project ultimately took 2 semesters to complete. According to Dr. List, she and students spent the first semester in pre-production and the second semester in post-production. The entire pilot was shot on Chicago State University’s campus.

“This is a beautiful campus,” the series’ director Darren Davidson said. “The script and the campus just coincided. You really get to appreciate how beautiful this campus is when you’re looking for shots and angles.”
This Citizen article was posted on May 3rd on their website.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mrs. Englewood interviewed by Marc Sims

Three videos from cable access personality Marc Sims as he interviews Asiaha Butler from the Resident Association of Greater Englewood (RAGE) last month. You can see this interview in three videos [PART1, PART 2, PART 3].

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Ald. Lyle's service office remains open for business...

Location: 406 E 75th St, Chicago, IL 60619, USA
the following was written on April 24th by Levois, with notes from Worlee. In case you don't follow us on Facebook...

Until Alderman-elect Sawyer is able to officially take office next month. Ald. Lyle comments on a post made at the FB page with regards to her TV show The 6th Ward Scene. A variety of subjects are tackled here:
As for the show, it was taped in March, before the election and I asked Atty. Kim Egonwan, a resident to do the interview to highlight the talent we have in our Ward. I can not con...tinue to do show as Alderman because their is soon to be a new Alderman. It will be his decision as to whether he wishes to continue a Cable TV show. In fact over the years less than 10 of 50 taped any sort of show (until election time).

As to the office, the office is not closed. None of my full time staff persons have taken vacation. We’ve continued to serve the residents everyday, except for 2 and phone, email and walk in requests are still being handled. The Streets & Sanitation Office remains open and those services continue also. I’ve continued to meet with residents, City officials and I attended the last Council meeting. I held a monthly meeting and wrote a monthly Newsletter. As that was to be the last Aldermanic Ward meeting, most of those who attended came to wish me well. To my surprise, 2 persons came, I suppose, to see if I was broken and bowed. I am not and thus they left disappointed.

I took no vacation last year & can’t be paid for that time, so I took a vacation last week and will be taking another shortly, as I am permitted to do. Brian also is entitled to vacation and is taking his before he starts his new job in another Ward. So everything else written above by wg is wrong. Finally, questions about my office, staff or actions will almost certainly be answered by myself or my staff as soon as we receive them.
As for the service office, it was in response to Worlee's comment about what's been going on in Ald. Lyle's office since she lost the run off election:
Literally, the 6th ward service personnel have literally all resigned. The alderman and streets and sanitation supervisor are all on vacation. Also, the current 6th ward office closes down on May 1, 2011. The bottom line is there is nothing to report, this was and is not a smooth transition. wg
Not sure what to believe about the transition between Lyle & Sawyer in addition to whether or not the current service office will close on May 1st. One outgoing Alderman - Mary Ann Smith (48th) - had already announced her office will be closed for business on May 1st.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Black aldermen unhappy with Emanuel’s police and fire picks - Chicago Sun-Times

Black aldermen unhappy with Emanuel’s police and fire picks - Chicago Sun-Times

Two of our neighboring Aldermen from Howard Brookins in the 21st to Michelle Harris in the 8th has some comments about Mayor-elect Emanuel's appointments to his public safety team. In addition to naming Garry McCarthy the new top cop, he also named Robert Hoff to head the Chicago Fire Department, Gary Schenkel to head the cities emergency management office, and the only black on this team is Public Safety chief of staff Felicia Davis.
Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) added, “I’ve heard in the community, even with respect to Mr. Brizard, that he’s not from here. He’s not [really] African-American. He was born in Haiti. We just hope that we would be able to get some local folks. … Hopefully, this isn’t a sign of things to come — that it’s all outside people. But, we’ll see.”

Ald. Michelle Harris (8th), chairman of the City Council’s Police Committee, did not share her colleagues’ concerns about race. She noted that former Police Supt. “Jody Weis wasn’t black,” either.
It appears Brookins took issue with the appointments of non-Chicagoans to city posts. It appears that Harris has little problem with not appointing a black to the top of the public safety agencies.

Would you rather Rahm Emanuel appoint a black to either head the city police or fire departments?

Aldermen to Pay More for Pork in Wards - Chicago News Cooperative

Aldermen to Pay More for Pork in Wards - Chicago News Cooperative

Ald. Howard Brookins (21st) is quoted in this article about how certain items in the "Aldermanic menu". With this menu Aldermen are given funds to take home to their wards for certain projects such as repaving streets, constructing curbs or gutters, new streetlights, etc.
“It will hurt the aldermen in that we can’t do as much,” Ald. Howard Brookins (21st Ward) said.

Despite annual budget deficits in the hundreds of millions of dollars, Daley has continued to allocate $66 million a year for the aldermanic menu program. Every spring, council members have cherished the chance to tour their wards and decide where to direct city dollars for improvements.

Many aldermen protested in vain when the Daley administration hiked menu prices dramatically in 2005, the first such move in five years.

Until then, a block of new curbs and gutters resulted in a charge of $28,500. That figure rose to $40,000 in 2005, and by last year, the price was $59,500. Another increase this year will bring the cost to $62,500, city documents show.

Brookins said areas like his South Side ward are more deeply hurt by the price increases than geographically smaller wards that are more densely populated. Each ward receives the same amount — $1.32 million — but larger wards have more streets and alleys.

End of an era for City Council - Chicago Sun-Times

End of an era for City Council - Chicago Sun-Times

This Carol Marin column discusses that last City Council meeting that Mayor Daley will preside over. Also noted in this piece is outgoing Alderman Freddrenna Lyle:
Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) is leaving too. Like Stone, she was defeated after 13 years of representing Englewood and Chatham on the South Side.

It has been a tough year in her ward, shell-shocked by the killings of two of its highly respected police officers, Thomas Wortham III and Michael Bailey.

Ald. Lyle too talked of the great friendships among politicians who did not always see issues through the same prism.

Like when she and colleague Ginger Rugai, retiring 19th Ward alderman, disagreed on the reallocation of police officers. Lyle wanted more, but Rugai didn’t want fewer.

“She understood and I understood,” Lyle said. “Ginger and I are great friends.”

How will this last Council meeting be, what with Daley departing and aldermen leaving?

“Maudlin,” said Lyle with a small laugh, “tear-jerking, and difficult.”
If you don't know already, the new Mayor and City Council will be sworn in on May 16, 2011.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Announcing the 2011 Commencement Challenge Finalists

[VIDEO] Melody Barnes from the White House Domestic Policy Council in the video above announces the finalists of the "Race to the Top Commencement Challenge. None of these high schools announced in this video are in the City of Chicago or the State of Illinois. Here's more about this Challenge:
The Commencement Challenge invites public high schools across the country to demonstrate how their school best prepares them for college and a career, helping America win the future by out-educating our competitors and achieving President Obama’s goal of having the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.

The application includes essay questions and statistical information that illustrate how schools are promoting college and career readiness for all students while establishing a culture of student success and academic excellence. The winning school will host President Obama as their 2011 commencement speaker.

The White House has partnered with Viacom and the Get Schooled Foundation to launch the 2011 Commencement Challenge. In a video launching the challenge, Simon Boehme, the salutatorian from last year’s winning school - Kalamazoo Central High - and current freshman at the University of Michigan, came to the White House to discuss the Commencement Challenge with President Obama. Watch the video above and check out the expanded version here.
It would be nice to see both of our ward high schools Robeson & Harlan be considered close enough to be finalists in this challenge. Also since the faculty at Harlan like to advertise the fact that three of their students have went to the White House this is something that would be worthwhile for them. Especially if they want to emphasize the importance of going to college.

I'm still trying to figure out if the "grand prize" is a visit and/or commencement address by the President of the United States to the winning high school. Hopefully next year the students at Harlan Community Academy High School will consider getting involved in this contest. That is if they haven't already.

The last link in the quote is of Kalamazoo Central High School talking about their experience in winning the 2010 contest. [VIDEO]

Will this be Harlan or any other city high school next year. Can we have a city high school as a finalist or semi-finalist.

CRAIN'S: Mayor-elect to name Police Superintendent appointment

Well the Chicago Police board having narrowed down their choices for police superintendent last week made this potential appointment almost inevitable.
Mayor-elect Rahm Emanuel plans to name Newark, N.J., Police Director Garry McCarthy as his choice to be police superintendent in Chicago.

According to a person on Emanuel's transition team, the Democrat will make the announcement Monday. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity so not to preempt Emanuel's announcement.

McCarthy replaces Jody Weis, who left the superintendent's job when his contract ended earlier this year.

McCarthy would take over a department that's suffered from morale problems under Weis, who came to the job after working at the FBI and was considered an outsider. McCarthy has years of big-city police experience after working in Newark and New York City.
Back to that first link from the Sun-Times I think this is a good step. Is it necessary, probably not.
If he becomes Emanuel’s choice, McCarthy said he would go through the Chicago Police Academy and get certified as an Illinois law-enforcement officer before ever putting on the uniform.

That was a sore point with Weis, who wore the uniform, but never earned it in the view of the rank and file.

“I know I don’t have the right to wear the CPD uniform,” said McCarthy, who wore a uniform in New York but holds a civilian position in Newark.
Emanuel has noted that he wants his new police chief to have been a beat cop. That was one thing about Weis is that he never patroled as a police officer. Of course that in addition to Weis wearing a uniform that many in the rank & file police didn't believe he earned.

I also think it's a step in the right direction for McCarthy to want to be certified as an Illinois law-enforcement officer. Also it's a good step that he wants to go through the Chicago Police Academy. He'll go through some of the same training as the police recruits are. Probably not all the training because he would be the top cop.